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Cognistat is a cognitive screening test that is widely used in English-speaking countries. Its French adaptation is now available. The present study aims to establish norms for a population aged 60 and over. One hundred and fifty-one participants aged between 60 and 84 years old with normal cognitive function were divided into 5 five-year age groups. The results on Cognistat are reported for each subtest and age group. Age has a significant effect in only two subtests (Attention and Language Comprehension), which suggests a reduced performance for older participants. However, these effects are very weak and irregular. For this reason and given data distribution, norms are proposed to define performance thresholds for the 15th (lower limit of the normal range), 10th (mild cognitive impairment) and 5th (clinically significant) percentiles for each subtest for the clinical use of Cognistat with individuals 60 years of age and older.
Studies of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and late-life depression (LLD) have examined the similarities and differences between these syndromes, but few have investigated how the cognitive profile of comorbid aMCI and subclinical depressive symptoms (aMCI/D+) may compare to that of aMCI or LLD. Memory biases for certain types of emotional information may distinguish these groups.
A total of 35 aMCI, 23 aMCI/D+, 13 LLD, and 17 elderly controls (CONT) rated the valence (positive, negative, or neutral) of 30 pictures from the International Affective Picture System. Mean percent positive, negative, and neutral images recalled was compared within groups immediately and 30 minutes later.
Overall memory performance was comparable in aMCI and aMCI/D+, and both recalled fewer items than CONT and LLD. Group differences emerged when valence ratings were considered: at immediate and delayed recall, positive and negative pictures were generally better-remembered than neutral pictures by CONT, aMCI, and LLD, but valence was not associated with recall in aMCI/D+. Follow-up analyses suggested that the perceived intensity of stimuli may explain the emotional enhancement effect in CONT, aMCI, and LLD.
Results support previous research suggesting that the neuropsychological profile of aMCI/D+ is different from that of aMCI and LLD. Although depressed and non-depressed individuals with aMCI recall comparable quantities of information, the quality of the recalled information differs significantly. On theoretical grounds, this suggests the existence of distinct neurobiological or neurofunctional manifestations in both groups. Practically, these differences may guide the development of personalized emotion-focused encoding strategies in cognitive training programs.
Several studies have suggested that cognitive training is a potentially effective way to improve cognition and postpone cognitive decline in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The MEMO+ study is a randomized, controlled, single-blind trial designed to test the efficacy, specificity, and long-term effect of a cognitive training intervention and a psychosocial intervention in persons with MCI.
One hundred and sixty-two participants with MCI will be recruited. They will be randomized into three groups: cognitive training, psychosocial intervention, and no-contact. Each intervention will last for eight weeks (one session per week) and a booster training session will be provided three months after the end of the intervention. Various proximal and distal outcomes will be measured at pre-intervention as well as at one week, three months, and six months post-training. Proximal outcomes include memory and psychological health measures. Distal outcomes focus on self-rated functioning in complex daily activities and strategies used in daily life to enhance function. Socio-demographic factors (age, gender, and education), general cognition, personality traits, engagement in activities, and self-efficacy will be used as moderators. Enrolment began in April 2012 and will be completed by December 2014.
This study is likely to have a significant impact on the well-being of persons with MCI by contributing to the development of adapted and scientifically supported cognitive and psychosocial interventions.
The present study was conducted to determine whether anxiety among community-dwelling elders is associated with cognitive decline over a period of one year as well as to verify whether there are sex differences in the association between anxiety and cognitive decline. Participants (n=1942) were community-dwelling adults aged 65–96 years assessed at study entry (T0) and one year later (T1). Anxiety was identified with a semi-structured interview and cognitive functioning was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Results revealed that the presence of a clinically significant anxiety disorder did not predict cognitive decline in men and women. Subclinical anxiety symptoms predicted cognitive decline in women only. Moreover, for men, the presence of symptoms from at least two anxiety disorders predicted cognitive decline. For women, cognitive decline was predicted by the presence of symptoms from one anxiety disorder only. Overall, the results illustrate the role of anxiety in cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults.
Few batteries of prosodic stimuli testing have been validated for Quebec-French people. Such validation is necessary to develop auditory-verbal tasks in this population. The objective of this study was to validate a battery of emotional prosodic stimuli for French-Québec aging subjects. The battery of 195 stimuli, which was elaborated by Maurage et al. (2007), is composed of 195 prosodic stimuli and was administrated to 50 healthy Quebecers aged 50-to-80 years. The percentages of good responses were calculated for each stimulus. For each emotion, Cronbach’s alphas were calculated to evaluate the internal consistency of the stimuli. Results showed that among the 195 stimuli, 40 were correctly recognized by at least 80 per cent of the subjects. Anger was the emotion that was most correctly identified by the participants, while recognition of disgust was the least recognised. Overall, this study provides data that will guide the selection of prosodic stimuli in evaluating French-Québécois.
In theory, semantic memory may trigger and support the execution of everyday activities. This study explored this question by comparing three patients with semantic dementia to 40 normal controls performing different everyday activities. Participants were tested in their home using the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Profile, an ecological measure of everyday functioning. Participants were informed that they had unknowingly invited two guests for lunch and should prepare accordingly. With these instructions, they dress to go outdoors, go to the grocery store, shop for food, prepare a hot meal, have the meal with the guests, and clean up after the meal. Performance was analyzed on the basis of four operations related to problem solving: formulate a goal, plan, execute, and verify attainment of the goal. Results indicate that compared to normal controls, two patients had significant difficulties and needed assistance with all operations of problem-solving, particularly while preparing a meal and cleaning up after the meal. One patient showed no difficulties despite severe semantic deficits. These results suggest that semantic deficits alone cannot explain the difficulties observed, but may contribute to some aspects of everyday actions such as those involved in everyday problem-solving. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–11)
Background: The objectives of this study were to examine the factors modifying the relationship between cortisol level and prevalent/incident cognitive impairment in older adults and to verify whether these relationships were non-linear.
Methods: Data were collected from 1,226 individuals aged 65 and older by two in-home interviews separated by 12 months. Cortisol level was measured using saliva samples taken at the beginning of the baseline interview before cognitive, mental, and physical health evaluations. Prevalent and incident cognitive impairment were defined using the Mini-Mental State Examination scores according to normative data for age, education level, and sex.
Results: High morning cortisol level increased the risk of incident cognitive impairment in participants with anxiety or depressive episode while low cortisol level increased the risk in participants without anxiety or depressive episode. In high educated participants, but not in low educated participants, high morning cortisol level was associated with prevalent cognitive impairment and high afternoon cortisol level increased the risk of incident cognitive impairment. The results also suggested that lower morning cortisol values could increase the risk of incident cognitive impairment in individuals with few chronic diseases. A curvilinear relationship was observed between morning cortisol and the probability of incident cognitive impairment, but further analyses suggested that it was likely explained by anxiety and depressive episode.
Conclusions: These results suggest that cognitive impairment in older adults is linked to higher or lower cortisol level depending on characteristics such as anxiety, depressive episode, education level, and physical health.
Semantic deficits have been documented in the prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease, but it is unclear whether these deficits are associated with non-cognitive manifestations. For instance, recent evidence indicates that cognitive deficits in elders with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are modulated by concomitant depressive symptoms. The purposes of this study were to (i) investigate if semantic memory impairment in aMCI is modulated according to the presence (aMCI-D group) or absence (aMCI group) of depressive symptoms, and (ii) compare semantic memory performance of aMCI and aMCI-D groups to that of patients with late-life depression (LLD). Seventeen aMCI, 16 aMCI-D, 15 LLD, and 26 healthy control participants were administered a semantic questionnaire assessing famous person knowledge. Results showed that performance of aMCI-D patients was impaired compared to the control and LLD groups. However, in the aMCI group performance was comparable to that of all other groups. Overall, these findings suggest that semantic deficits in aMCI are somewhat associated with the presence of concomitant depressive symptoms. However, depression alone cannot account solely for the semantic deficits since LLD patients showed no semantic memory impairment in this study. Future studies should aim at clarifying the association between depression and semantic deficits in older adults meeting aMCI criteria. (JINS, 2011, 17, 865–874)
Background: Several neuropsychiatric symptoms observed in elders with cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) can be part of a major depressive episode (MDE) or a “subthreshold” depressive episode. Certain neuropsychiatric symptoms of CIND are essential symptoms of MDE (e.g. dysphoria, anhedonia), while other are non-essential symptoms (NESD; e.g. fatigue, insomnia, cognitive complaint). Contrary to essential symptoms, NESD are not specific to MDE and are present in other disorders. It is unknown whether NESD are linked to CIND in absence of MDE or subthreshold MDE. The present study examined the association between NESD and probable CIND in elders without essential MDE symptoms.
Methods: Participants were 2028 community-dwelling individuals aged 65–96 years who had not experienced dysphoria/anhedonia during the year preceding the interview. Semi-structured in-home interviews evaluated the following NESD: alteration of appetite, sleep disturbance, psychomotor alteration, fatigue/loss of energy, worthlessness/guilt, and cognitive complaints. Probable CIND cases were defined based on the Mini-mental State Examination cut-offs (15th percentile) stratified for age, education and sex.
Results: Symptoms of fatigue/loss of energy (OR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.42–4.09), sleep disturbance (OR: 3.04 CI: 1.69–5.46) and cognitive complaints (OR: 2.86 CI: 1.71–4.77) were significantly associated with CIND. These associations were not modified after adjustments for potential confounders (age, education level, sex, benzodiazepine use, chronic diseases, and brain disorders).
Conclusion: A psychiatric symptomatology occurs in older adults with CIND in the absence of MDE or subthreshold MDE. NESD encountered in the absence of dysphoria/anhedonia should receive particular attention by clinicians since they can be linked to cognitive difficulties.
This study was aimed at providing normative data for the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The norms were built from a sample (n = 2409) of community-dwelling French speaking residents from Québec aged 65 and older. The analyses indicated that socio-demographic variables such as education level, age, and gender of individuals influenced significantly the scores of older adults on the MMSE. More precisely, MMSE scores increased with education level and decreased with age. Moreover, women had significantly higher scores than men. On this basis, distinct tables of normative data were produced for women and men. In each table, the MMSE scores corresponding to percentiles 5, 10, 15 and 50 were identified according to four age categories and three education levels. Overall, the use of the present normative data by clinicians will improve their accuracy in detecting cognitive impairment in older adults from Québec.
Background: Normal aging and dementia are characterized by increased prevalence of sleep disorders and alterations of both sleep continuity and architecture. However, little is still known about the nature of sleep in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is presumably situated on the continuum from healthy aging to dementia. This unsystematic review summarizes the current literature on the prevalence and severity of sleep disturbances in MCI.
Methods: Eighteen studies addressing sleep/night-time disturbances among other neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals with MCI were identified through a search of databases and an examination of reference lists of selected papers. Fifteen of those studies reported data on prevalence or severity of sleep/night-time disturbances.
Results: Results indicated that 14–59% of patients with MCI had sleep disturbances. These disturbances were often identified as one of the four most prevalent neuropsychiatric symptoms of MCI and were considered as clinically significant in some studies. In addition, there was some evidence that the prevalence of sleep disturbances in MCI is intermediate between that of normal aging and dementia. Longitudinal data suggest that sleep problems are associated with both incident MCI and dementia.
Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that sleep disturbances are one of the core non-cognitive symptoms of MCI. It remains to be known whether sleep problems could help to identify those individuals with MCI who will eventually develop dementia. Studies characterizing sleep more systematically are needed to verify this proposition and to clarify the associations between sleep disturbances and other neuropsychiatric symptoms of MCI.
Background: Depressive symptoms are frequently observed in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, little is known regarding the cognitive characteristics of this important subgroup.
Methods: We examined executive functions (controlled inhibition) and verbal episodic memory in 33 healthy older adults (control group), 18 older adults with amnestic MCI plus subclinical depressive symptoms (a-MCI/D+ group), and 26 older adults with amnestic MCI but no depressive symptoms (a-MCI group).
Results: Compared to the a-MCI and control groups, patients with a-MCI/D+ showed poor controlled inhibition. Moreover, in verbal episodic memory these patients recalled fewer words than control participants on immediate free, delayed free, and delayed total (free plus cued) recall. Performance on immediate recall suggested a self-retrieval deficit, but delayed performance also revealed the existence of an encoding impairment. In the a-MCI group, participants exhibited normal performance on the executive task, but pervasive memory impairment; the memory deficit concerned free and total recall on both immediate and delayed tasks, suggesting the existence of encoding and self-retrieval disturbances.
Conclusions: This study reveals differences between the pattern of cognitive impairment for a-MCI/D+ and a-MCI subgroups particularly at the level of executive capacities. In terms of memory functioning, the differences between the subgroups were more subtle; more studies are needed in order to better characterize the memory impairment of a-MCI/D+ and a-MCI patients.
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